There is no word for ‘thank you’ in Dothraki

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Did you know that Dothraki is actually a fictional language which was constructed for Game of Thrones?

It is an imaginary language which was constructed by linguist David Peterson(hired by HBO) to give more depth to the fictional community of Dothraki in the TV series Game of Thrones.

Learning or even creating a fictional language is an emotional decision. It makes the speaker feel like he is a part of a community. It makes one feel that he is a part of a group of people who are just like him, share common interests and have something that binds all of them together.

Throughout the show, we see the Khaleesi and her dothraki speaking the Dothraki language. To someone who speaks and understands English, it sounds like just some random sounds and words put together. But it is a fictional language with a vocabulary of around 4000 words. Some Dothraki words like Khaleesi already existed in the novels by George R.R. Martin. These few words were just random words imagined by the author, which he thought would give it more of a Medieval age touch. When HBO adapted the novels, they felt the need to have a completely new language for the tribal community.

The Dothraki language has no word for Thank you, toilet or even books. This shows that the Dothraki tribe are not literate or even very civilized. They depend mostly on horse meat. Horses are a very important part of their lives. Therefore, there are over 14 words for horse in Dothraki.

The names of the characters seem to be getting really popular with the audience. According to a survey, around 140 girls in the US were named Khaleesi in the last one year. Also, as the show gains more and more popularity with every season, a lot more people are motivated to learn the Dothraki language.  As a result, a lot of websites have come up to teach the Dothraki language to the fans. My personal favourite is http://www.dothraki.org. It is an unofficial fan-site which is maintained by Richard Littauer, a 23-year-old linguistics graduate student. It looks like they have dedicated a tremendous amount of time for developing and translating the languages.That’s worth a salute.